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Why Did the Recent Oil Price Declines Affect Bond Prices of Non-Energy Companies?

Brandon Li and Asani Sarkar

No 20161005, Liberty Street Economics from Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Abstract: Oil prices plunged 65 percent between July 2014 and December of the following year. During this period, the yield spread?the yield of a corporate bond minus the yield of a Treasury bond of the same maturity?of energy companies shot up, indicating increased credit risk. Surprisingly, the yield spread of non?energy firms also rose even though many non?energy firms might be expected to benefit from lower energy?related costs. In this blog post, we examine this counterintuitive result. We find evidence of a liquidity spillover, whereby the bonds of more liquid non?energy firms had to be sold to satisfy investors who withdrew from bond funds in response to falling energy prices.

Keywords: Credit Risk; Liquidity Spillovers; Oil Prices (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G1 G3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-10-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene
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